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Indian Mobile Subscriber Stats: 5.9M New, 812M Active, 930.2M Total [Sept 14]

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TRAI has released their monthly telecom subscription report for month of September 2014, and it clearly shows that the growth in mobile subscription is witnessing healthy growth again. 2011 and 2012 saw decline in reported numbers as millions of inactive numbers went out of the system.

Idea Cellular continued to be the top operator in India adding maximum number of subscribers third month in a row. They added over 1.7 million subscribers, marginally higher than what they did in month of August 2014.

According to the report, September 2014 saw addition of 5.9 million new mobile subscribers taking the total tally to 930.2 million. September is also the straight 12th month which has witnessed positive growth. In last one year, 60 million new mobile subscribers have been added and 43.9 million in 2014.

Here is the 18 month graph of mobile subscriber additions.

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While 930.2 million is the total mobile subscription numbers, active subscribers (who has used the numbers in past 90 days) have reached 812.11 million a growth of 4.82 mln over August 2014.

The percentage of active subscribers has remained at healthy 87.30. In last 18 month active percentage has grown by over 4 percent thanks to aggressive steps by TRAI to weed out inactive numbers from the system.

Here is graph showing Total Vs Active subscriber base over past 18 months.

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Mobile Subscription Highlights [Sept 2014]

– With an increase of 5.88 mln in Sept 2014, total mobile subscriber base has reached to 930.20 million. India had 924.322 million subscribers by end of August 2014.

– Urban India witnessed a monthly increase of 0.55 percent or 3.02 mln subscribers, while rural mobile subscriber base increased by 0.76 percent or 2.87 mln.

– Urban Teledensity increased to 142.39 from 141.84 in Aug 14, while the rural tele-density increased to 44.32 from previous 44.02.

Urban mobile subscriber share stands at 58.88% as compared 41.12% of rural subscribers.

3.26 million new Mobile portability requests were made in month of Sept 2014, taking the total tally of MNP requests since launch to 132.81 mln.

– Active Mobile Subscriber base increased from 807.29 mln in August 14 to 812.11 mln in Sept 14, taking the active percentage to 87.30 percent.

–  Total Broadband (> 512 Kbps) subscription numbers increased from 74.31 million at the end of August 14 to 75.73 million at the end of Sept 14 with monthly growth rate of 1.92%

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Operator Wise Subscriber Additions [September 2014]

Idea Cellular garnered maximum new mobile subscribers for the third month in a row adding 1.725 million, marginally higher than previous month. They also increased their market share to 15.43 percent.

On the other hand BSNL lost over 885,000 subscribers in Sept 2014 – It is also the 5th month where they have witnessed fall in subscribers.

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Airtel is a market leader by a fair margin with 22.74 percent market share followed by Vodafone (18.69%) and Idea (15.43%)

If you consider the time period from January 2014 to September 2014, Idea and Vodafone have performed extremely well. Idea Cellular has added 11.37 mln new subscribers since Jan, while Vodafone has added 11.17 million. Market leader Airtel has added 8.34 mln.

Among other operators, Unitech has performed quite well and have added 6.3 mln since start of this year. On the other hand, BSNL has lost a total of 9.6 mln subscribers followed by Sistema who lost close to 4 mln.

Here is the comparison of mobile operators since start of 2014

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Top 8 Mobile Operators in Numbers

# Operator Total Subscriber Count (till Sept 2014)
1 Bharti Airtel 211,551,316
2 Vodafone 173,847,293
3 Idea 143,560,191
4 Reliance 110,124,024
5 BSNL 86,718,098
6 Tata 64,248,086
7 Aircel 75,850,649
8 Telewings / Uninor 41,815,586

[TRAI Sept 2014 report]

  1. […] – With an increase of 1.71 mln in November 2014, total mobile subscriber base has reached to 937.06 million. India had 930.20 million subscribers by end of September 2014. […]

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